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Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat

photo: Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat sun hat

This is the enzyme-washed version of the legendary T3 hat. A little softer, a little broken in...ready for anything.

Pros

  • Top quality materials
  • Natural fibres
  • Superb Canadian construction/build
  • Lifetime guarantee, which you will probably never need

Cons

  • Not the thinnest,
  • -or lightest
  • Not inexpensive
  • Shape and style are personal

I bought a slightly smaller Tilley, for those colder, windy days when a snug fit is preferable to the extra comfort of a loose fit in the heat. I have already reviewed the wonderful T3 hat and the design is perfect for my needs, with its round crown and three-inch brim. The Wanderer is great for the days just after I've cut my hair—or for when I would be constantly adjusting the T3 to keep it on my head.

The principal difference between the two styles is the finish. The Wanderer is a pre-aged version of the T3, inasmuch as it has been softened by the washing process. There is no fake 'relicing'—the stitching, cord, and rivets are in perfect condition, the canvas is merely a little more malleable. This includes the brim, which is a little floppier than the unwashed version. Some folks will prefer that.  If you like the hard bill of a baseball cap, you might prefer the T3 to the Wanderer. If you wore bush hats, in the Army or on river banks, the Wanderer may be more to your taste.

There is a pocket in the lid of the hat—a standard Tilley feature. The polystyrene lid liner aids flotation and also traps heat. It is easy to fit and remove. I took the liner out and replaced it with a ten pound note; the 'cashless society' hasn't reached this far north, as yet. The liner may be re-fitted, before the next rainy trip—although the hat is fairly rain-resistant, as is.

The drawcord spends most of its life tucked into the crown of this hat. I could probably remove it, but I really don't like limiting the functionality, just in case I encounter an unexpected gale;-) It's a long, soft cord, which can be worn under the chin or behind the head. I have seen toggles attached to regulate the fit—but the knots applied, by the manufacturer, work extremely well. 

Each side of the crown features a large brass grommet to aid ventilation and a snap fastener to enable the wearer to lift the brim on either or both sides. If you habitually carry a fishing pole, shotgun, or a pack, with skis, or walking poles attached, this is a feature you may come to appreciate.

The Wanderer feels less shaped and styled than the T3. It lends itself to being thrown in a pack or to yard work. Man-made fibres might be a lighter, easy-drying option, but I've always preferred the weight and toughness of canvas. 

Tilley's guarantee reinforces my confidence that the hat is a long-term purchase, with a virtually limitless lifespan, unless abused or set on fire. Mine tends to be treated a little carelessly—a reflection of the confidence it inspires.  It shows zero signs of wear, beyond a faint loss of colour around the seams after five or six washes: the quality of materials and manufacture would be hard to match.

We all need a hat—for protection, warmth, shade, or to cut a dash on a promenade or stage. Tilley make the greatest, functional sun hats an outdoors person can buy. If you want a supremely durable, wide brimmed version, the Wanderer may be your style. Having used a couple of these products over recent years, I wouldn't go back to disposable, chain store stuff and throwaway nylon facsimiles.

Experience

Nine months of regular, all weather use. Lots of yard work and bushwhacking in my local woods. Beachcombing, on rougher days. High level hikes, when wind speeds exceed 40mph. Form meets function.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £50—in the sale!

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Specs

Price MSRP: $99.00
Current Retail: $55.10-$99.00
Historic Range: $29.00-$99.00
Fabric 100% cotton duck with enzyme wash
Weight 153 g / 5.4 oz
Brim front and back 2 3/4 in / sides 2 3/8 in
Crown Height 3 3/4 in
Sun Protection Rated UPF 50+
Product Details from Tilley »

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